Archive for Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court ruling vindicates Obama on health care

June 28, 2012


— Marking a pivotal point in the presidential campaign, the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Barack Obama's sweeping federal health care law handed the Democratic incumbent crucial election-year vindication for his signature legislative accomplishment.

Republican rival Mitt Romney, an ardent opponent of the law, prepared to use the decision for his own political gain and planned to cast himself as the next best hope for the millions of Americans who favor the law's repeal.

The decision put an end to what had been one of the biggest unknowns in the presidential race. Four months from Election Day, both Obama and Romney will seek to use the high court ruling to bolster their vision for the country, as well as raise money for their campaigns.

The Romney campaign said it had collected more than $100,000 in online donations in the hour after the decision was announced.

Both men were expected to comment around midday Thursday from Washington. Romney was scheduled to speak first, followed by Obama.

The high court announced Thursday, in a 5-4 decision, that it was upholding the requirement at the heart of the health care law: that most individuals must buy health insurance or pay a penalty.

The decision means the historic overhaul will continue to go into effect over the next several years, affecting the way people receive and pay for personal medical care. The ruling also handed Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to have health insurance.

The Obama and Romney campaigns have been quietly preparing for months how they would respond to the ruling.

While the White House publically expressed confidence that the overhaul would be upheld, Obama aides feared the political ramifications for the president if the law were to be overturned.

In anticipation of the law being overturned, Romney aides cautioned against excessive celebration, fearing that could alienate voters who could lose health care benefits as a result of the decision.

Romney, who as Massachusetts governor signed a health care law on which the Obama's federal law was modeled, previewed his likely response to the decision during a campaign event earlier this week.

If the court upholds the law, Romney told supporters at a northern Virginia electronics manufacturer Wednesday, it's still bad policy. "And that'll mean if I'm elected president we're going to repeal it and replace it," he said.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the decision sets the stakes for the Nov. 6 election.

"Now, the only way to save the country from Obamacare's budget-busting government takeover of health care is to elect a new president," Priebus said.

The court's ruling will have a far-reaching impact on the nation's health care system. About 30 million of the 50 million uninsured Americans would get coverage in 2014 when a big expansion begins.

Polling suggests that most Americans oppose the law, but an overwhelming majority want Congress and the president to find a new remedy if it's struck down.

The court's announcement was expected to be followed almost immediately by a barrage of advertisements and fundraising appeals from Democrats and Republicans all trying to cast the decision in the most advantageous light for their candidates.

Obama's campaign began trying to raise money off the ruling even before it was announced. In a Thursday morning fundraising email with the subject line "Today's Decision," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told supporters "no matter what, today is an important day to have Barack Obama's back."

Outside groups also are ready to unleash a flood of advertising, including a 16-state, $7 million ad buy from the conservative political action group Americans for Prosperity.

AP White House Correspondent Ben Feller contributed to this report.


JackMcKee 5 years, 8 months ago

What's that sound? It's FalseHope's and rickchalks heads exploding

Orwell 5 years, 8 months ago

So now the Kansas implementation of the federal law will be decided in Washington, because Nosanity Sam refused the federal grant that would have enabled Kansans to do it for themselves.

Great call, there, Sparky.

Richard Payton 5 years, 8 months ago

If elected RomneyCare covers the rich only and then takes your social security check away.

Orwell 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh, and Priebus is a lying partisan hack. Neutral observers agree the act will reduce, not increase, costs.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 8 months ago

Hooray and Huzzah!!!!!!!!!!!!

At last, a legal vindication for a badly needed overhaul of the disintigrating health system in the richest country in the world where those countries around us have far better health care arrangements that those in the U.S.A.! Kudos to SCOTUS and their courage to do the right thing. And for those on the "right', well, now you can go find another reason to bash and batter the black Kenyan dude in the White House.

JackMcKee 5 years, 8 months ago

Romney was for the AFA when he was Govenor of Mass. but now he's against it? Biggest flip-flopper ever? I think so.

bradh 5 years, 8 months ago

You think Romney is the biggest flip-flopper ever? What do you think about a President who was against Guantonomo as a Senator and keeps it as President. What do you think of a President who was against the timeline on getting out of Iraq as a Senator and then followed it as President. What do you think of a President who was against the surge in Iraq as a Senator and his only idea for Afghanistan as President was a personnel surge. What do you think of a President who decried the national debt as a Senator and who as President added more debt than all the other Presidents combined, even while putting off his biggest addition to the debt until 2014. What do you think of a President who promised not to add new taxes to the middle class and just added a pretty big tax for those who are uninsured and those of us who will subsidize the uninsureds payments? B.O. has a lot more history to look at, but he also has a lot more flip-flops than anyone I can remember.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

I am not a big fan of the AFA as written. I preferred a public option or single payer.

Romney's flip-flopping on his own idea is truly amazing, though.

The reason Roberts voted to uphold is that the individual mandate is a republican idea.

Romney claims that this was right for MA but not for the country, yet interview after interview shows Romney advocating for a national individual mandate (e.g. Obamacare).

Romney is a true hypocrite who will say and do anything to get elected.

SnakeFist 5 years, 8 months ago

"I preferred a public option or single payer."

I agree, and hope this is the first step toward that.

JackMcKee 5 years, 8 months ago

Scalia and Thomas have to be two of the worst S. Ct. Justices in the history of the Court. Alito is quickly trying to make up ground, though.

Scalia, for a truly ugly man, sure seems to be in love with himself.

SnakeFist 5 years, 8 months ago

Congress passed it, the President signed it, and the Supreme Court approved it - it doesn't get more consitutional than that. But go ahead and keep thinking you know more than everyone else.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 8 months ago

Go to AZ. They voted to secede from the Union before Jan Brewer vetoed it. And don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

beatrice 5 years, 8 months ago

Cait, that is not true. Arizona did not vote to secede. Your statement is the equivalent of saying all Kansans don't believe in evolution, so Brownback vetoed evolving. Just as you find in Kansas, there are plenty of people in Arizona who can't wait to change the state's political leadership. Many Arizonans, particularly those who live in populated regions, are embarrased by the actions of the state's politicians.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 8 months ago

Although I agree with you. Bea, AZ is much like KS; full of people who hate their legislature and can't do anything about it. That said, the AZ legislature DID pass a bill stating that they would only follow what Federal law they agreed with, totally giving the bird to the Supremacy clause and in effect seceding from the US. Even that banshee b***h Brewer (who ranks up there with Bachmann) knew better than to let that pass and vetoed it.

MyName 5 years, 8 months ago

Don't like it move to Canada... where they have single payer! Oh snap!

Brock Masters 5 years, 8 months ago

While I understand why those that support the ARA are celebrating I have to wonder if they realize what this ruling really means?

If and when the GOP regains powere they will have unlimited power to tax behavior. Is this power you really want them to have?

MyName 5 years, 8 months ago

Well, like anything else in a Democracy, if you don't like the laws they pass, get a majority of people to elect people who will repeal them for you.

JackMcKee 5 years, 8 months ago

Gotland, care to share your Constitutional insights as to why the Court ruled incorrectly? I'm sure you're already busy over at some right wing hack website pulling quotes. Let me clue you in on something. The IM is a REPUBLICAN idea. Roberts, a well known CONSERVATIVE justice voted to uphold the law. Romney, your candidate for POTUS implemented the IM in Mass.

JackMcKee 5 years, 8 months ago

and libertarians are just out for themselves

Alceste 5 years, 8 months ago

An expanded Federal Government is a better US of A. Bring it.

JackMcKee 5 years, 8 months ago

Fred, this is different from the status quo exactly how?

Orwell 5 years, 8 months ago

You really don't understand punctuation, do you?

paulveer 5 years, 8 months ago

In this case, punctuation is the tip of an iceberg of not understanding.

JackMcKee 5 years, 8 months ago

It's great watching all the lunatic right wingers ready to too themselves off a cliff. Best day I can remember since Obama got elected.

This is a good day for Americans. If we had single payer it would be a great day. Hopefuly that's next.

Now if we could get rid of that incompetent buffoon occupying the Gov mansion in Topeka it would be a fantastic day.

beatrice 5 years, 8 months ago

Flex? We still "don't" know "who" or "what" you are "typing" about.

beatrice 5 years, 8 months ago

Still, no idea who or what you are talking about.

JackMcKee 5 years, 8 months ago

actually, toe, it is a great day if work for yourself and don't have an employer providing your health insurance.

tbaker 5 years, 8 months ago

Vindicates Mr. Obama? Perhaps, but I think it just cost him the election.

I can think of nothing that will better organize, improve campaign contributions, and galvanize and enflame the opposition than this....133 days before the election.

Orwell 5 years, 8 months ago

Maybe, but I can't wait to see how Romney explains his Massachusetts law now. His claim that it's state authority vs. federal authority under the Constitution has just been erased.

I also want to hear him explain, in enough detail for voters to exercise judgment, exactly what he would replace this law with. Don't we deserve to know what policies we're being asked to support?

beatrice 5 years, 8 months ago

Of course it vindicates President Obama. Do you really think the law being over turned would have played to Obama's favor? Whether or not it enflames the already enflamed is immaterial -- it IS a vindication of President Obama (and it doesn't matter what the meaning of is is to make that point).

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

tbaker is correct. This is going to inflame the tea partiers like jalapenos on a hemorrhoid.

Supporters of Obama had best prepare for a very nasty backlash from the disgruntled and cognitively dissonant GOP.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 8 months ago

I have been on the fence on this issue. Future numbers had health care prices at crazy high numbers, but not sure Obamacare is the answer.

And in the beware of what you wish for department, some people who have good insurance at work will lose it because their company found out the penalties will save them money over giving the benefit themselves.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I don't think it works that way - I think the requirement is individual, and the "tax" as well.

Companies aren't required to offer health insurance, and they wouldn't pay the "tax" if they don't.

Dale Stringer 5 years, 8 months ago

This just tells me that Big Insurance and Big Banking have taken over running everything from Big Oil since the last election. The next new law will probably require everyone to have auto insurance even if they don't own a car.

Now the part of the bill where states have to set up an insurance comparison website site, I can agree to that. States should help their citizens find whats best for them.

And since I said Big Banks above, I'll add this. Why is Congress trying to figure out where they are going to get the money to have Banks charge only 3.8% interest or what ever it currently is? Is Congress paying the banks or what - why do we money to say "Sorry, Big Banks, you are only allowing to make this much from students."??

pizzapete 5 years, 8 months ago

Dude, I'd like to answer that question but I'm not sure I understand it? Federal student loans are backed by the government, so banks are paid back by the government on the loans they make when students default. If the banks charge a higher interest rate more students are likely to default and the government will have more loans to pay back to the banks. Either way, the banks are making money, so it is in the governments interest to limit the amount banks charge in an attempt to lower the default rate on these loans.

RogueThrill 5 years, 8 months ago

You can't default on student loans given to you by the government. The government doesn't have to guarantee anything. That's why they are so sought after in terms of private entities buying them, they are a guaranteed return on investment.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 8 months ago

" The next new law will probably require everyone to have auto insurance even if they don't own a car."

That's already the case. If you have a DL, whether you drive or not, you're required to have a basic liability policy. The "fine" for not having that insurance comes when you try to purchase it, and you'll automatically be declared a "high risk" driver, regardless of what your driving record is.

Ann Hamil 5 years, 8 months ago

I won't be paying this tax because I have and hope to continue to purchase health insurance as it is the responsible thing to do and I have done it since I was an adult with my own insurance--sometimes through an employer sometimes a private plan. The system now taxes me because I pay for everyone who through choice or circumstance is uninsured through income taxes, fees, higher premiums and higher health care costs.

All the libertarians out there how bout this opt out of the mandate:
Sign a paper much like a DNR that says "because I have chosen the "freedom" from the tyranny of health insurance I want all health care providers to leave me to die or get better on my own should I happen to come down with any disease or injury--signed outraged patriot." Now once you sign, no chickening out when you get sick and buying into the health insurance pool than cannot reject you under this law--you opted out--good luck to ya.

paulveer 5 years, 8 months ago

And pay thrice the price, compared to insurance company negotiated prices.

RogueThrill 5 years, 8 months ago

Insurance held by healthy people, by default, subsidizes the unhealthy. That's how insurance companies stay in the black. Also by raising premiums faster than the rate of inflation.

You aren't taxed if you have insurance. You are only taxed if you DON'T have insurance. That tax pays for people who can't afford insurance.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I know that's the idea, but the "tax" isn't high enough to cover much of those costs.

It's 1% of income, and doesn't apply to poorer folks.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Source? All I've read is the 1% figure.

Anthony Mall 5 years, 8 months ago

Jack, You say "best day since Obama has been elected..." That's because he hasn't done anything else in 3.5 years!!!! Thanks for proving that...

tbaker 5 years, 8 months ago

Maybe this is finally the pre-text our country needs to have the long over due debate on producers vs. moochers. People who receive a government check now outnumber (and are growing) the number of people who actually work and pay taxes. The US now has one of the highest effective tax rates in the world for individuals, and the highest tax rate in the world for business. Raising taxes just won't work. Even taking 100% of all the money the evil rich make won't even put a dent in the deficit.

Spending has to be cut. The situation is obviously unsustainable.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 8 months ago

Wow, that was a truly amazing performance, tbaker. You were factually incorrect in every statement in that post.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 8 months ago

And now the feds will hire thousands of new bureaucrats to help maintain the government's new tighter grip on our throats. BOHICA, citizens.

lwctown 5 years, 8 months ago

Interesting how people view the requirement to have health insurance..... Or view it as a tax.

Social security (FICA) being deducted from your pay check is essentially a tax. Should that be repealed also?

The state mandates that if you own a vehicle in Kansas you have to have auto insurance...should that be repealed also?

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

The difference between this and all other taxes that I'm aware of is that you only pay it if you don't buy a product.

It's really a "fine", more than a "tax".

State governments have wide latitude by design, while the federal government was intended to be more limited in scope and authority.

waitjustaminute 5 years, 8 months ago

So, if I choose not to buy health insurance, for whatever reason, then what color of star is the Government going to force me to wear to single me out?

MyName 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure they'll have a selection for you to choose from :-P

progressive_thinker 5 years, 8 months ago


Stars are on the way...........

progressive_thinker 5 years, 8 months ago

In the words of Newt Gingrich:

“Personal responsibility extends to the purchase of health insurance. Citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying insurance, particularly when they can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it.”

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I read 1% of your income.

It's a bit more than $95 for most people.

Of course, it's still not enough to cover the costs of the uninsured by any means, right?

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Also, it seems a bit like an enforcement nightmare - how will the feds find out who has and who doesn't have health insurance?

camper 5 years, 8 months ago

I also prefer a Public Option.

The individual mandate will spread costs and increase the insurance pool. In theory, this should push down premiums.

Insurance companies preferred this mandate "compromise" because it gives them business. A Public Option takes business away.

BTW, wasn't the mandate a Republican idea, and pushed by Romney when he was a Govenor? Why has he changed his mind so quickly? I'm confused.

parco814 5 years, 8 months ago

Today's ruling is not a victory for President Obama, although he has earned the respect of all thinking, humane people with his legislation. This is a civil rights victory, alongside the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 and the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of the 1960s. A great day for America, in contrast to what Republican tantrum throwers are saying--such as Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, who has compared the decision to the 9/11 terrorism. He should be tarred, feathered, and dropped into a hot tub with Rush Limbaugh for that asinine remark.

BlackVelvet 5 years, 8 months ago

So now that Obamacare is the law, we can stop paying medical bills ofthose who have no insurance and have no plans to pay any penalty?

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